July 15, 2024
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July 15, 2024
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Virtual Offerings Expand Reach Of Jewish Home’s Parkinson’s Programming

(Courtesy of the Jewish Home) The Jewish Home Family’s Parkinson’s Center offers therapies and programming to those living with Parkinson’s to help them fight back against the disease. When the pandemic hit in 2020, the extensive in-person Rock Steady Boxing classes offered by the Jewish Home Family at three sites in Bergen County temporarily pivoted to a virtual format.

“COVID has been tough for us all, but it’s been especially challenging for those living with a chronic disease such as Parkinson’s disease,” said Head Coach Tom Elliott. “As soon as the world went on lockdown we started doing our Rock Steady Boxing on Zoom. It was a new experience for us and we, like the rest of the world, learned how to adapt on the fly.”

In addition to serving existing clients, the virtual classes actually expanded the reach of the training. “We had participants joining from six other states and even Israel,” Elliott said.

As time passed and in-person classes became possible again, many participants chose to continue attending classes virtually—some for convenience and some due to being vulnerable to infection.

Elliott has gotten to know the participants personally, and a rapport among boxers has mirrored the way it was when classes were exclusively in-person. “We begin each Zoom class a half hour early to allow participants to socialize and catch up with one another,” he explained. “For some of our boxers the classes are the most social moments of their week, providing camaraderie and emotional support.”

Rock Steady Boxing uses the tools and techniques of professional boxing training with individuals who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The intense, repetitive exercise has been demonstrated to have a very positive effect, and the program also aids in focus and concentration. It is a way for Parkinson’s patients to “fight back” against their disease, and the results have been very impressive. The training has created a tight-knit community and support for the participants.

For more information on Rock Steady Boxing and all of the Jewish Home’s Parkinson’s programs, email [email protected] or call the Jewish Home’s Parkinson’s advice hotline: (855) 543-7275.

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